'Jarhead' actor shared room to prepare for military role
New York - Peter Sarsgaard got a new roommate to prepare for his role as a Marine in the Gulf War drama "Jarhead."
The 34-year-old actor plays Jake Gyllenhaal's sniper partner in the film adaptation of Anthony Swofford's memoir, so he decided to spend as much time as possible with him in real life, he told The New York Times Magazine in Sunday's issue.
"I figured if I couldn't be around my girlfriend, I would settle for her brother," said Sarsgaard, who's dating Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Sarsgaard and Jake Gyllenhaal lived together for about five months during filming, mostly in a hotel in Mexico.
"The idea was to simulate the military experience: what happens if you're forced to be with someone every minute of the day and night," Sarsgaard told the magazine. "And we fought. We'd have a fight and then we'd still have to be together. For a while, I would just wear headphones. All the time. That lasted for 10 days."
Order was eventually restored, he said.
Actress back on stage weeks after breast cancer surgery
New York - Two weeks after having surgery for breast cancer, Maria Friedman will open Thursday - as scheduled - in "The Woman in White," the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on Wilkie Collins' Victorian mystery novel.
Friedman started preview performances Oct. 28 at Broadway's Marquis Theatre, but left the show six days later after discovering a lump in her left breast. She returned to the musical Nov. 10, missing only a week of performances. During her absence, understudy Lisa Brescia played the role of Marian Holcombe, the musical's adventurous heroine.
Friedman, in an interview with The New York Times, said she would begin radiation treatments in December. "I'm not going for hero status," the actress told the newspaper. "I'm doing what I can do, with enormous support."
The musical, adapted by Charlotte Jones and with lyrics by David Zippel, is directed by Trevor Nunn, who supervised such Lloyd Webber shows as "Cats," "Starlight Express," "Aspects of Love" and "Sunset Boulevard."
Former Beatle sends wake-up call into space
Anaheim, Calif. - It was "Good Day Sunshine" for the international space station crew Sunday morning.
NASA astronaut Bill McArthur and Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev were treated to a live wake-up call of the Beatles classic in a first-ever concert linkup to the space station.
On Earth, former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney performed the hit and another song, "English Tea," on Saturday night before a cheering crowd as part of his 11-week "US" tour.
The performance was beamed from the West Coast to the space station crew 220 miles above Earth and broadcast on NASA television, which showed live feeds from space.
McArthur and Tokarev bobbed up and down and sipped from squeeze pouches through the show, getting a rousing cheer from the audience.
"I can't believe that we're actually transmitting to space!" McCartney said. "This is sensational. I love it."
McArthur, who did a couple flips, noted McCartney's creative achievements and thanked him for playing the songs.
"That was simply magnificent," McArthur said. "We consider you an explorer just as we are."
It is a tradition to wake astronauts up with recorded songs, but this marked the first time astronauts listened to live music from space.
The rock icon came up with the idea after learning that NASA's Mission Control used "Good Day Sunshine" to wake up the Space Shuttle Discovery astronauts in August with word that conditions were favorable to return to Earth.
The wake-up call marked the space station crew's 44th day of a planned six month mission in space.
'Kung Fu Hustle' wins big at Golden Horse Awards
Keelung, Taiwan - "Kung Fu Hustle" was the big winner Sunday at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards, taking home five trophies, including best director and best film at the Oscar equivalent for Chinese-language cinema.
Stephen Chow's action-comedy, about gangsters who try to take over a neighborhood populated by kung fu masters, also won the best supporting actress award for Yuen Qiu's performance. It is the biggest grossing local film in Hong Kong history.
The awards represented a setback for local favorite "Three Times," which won best actress for Shu Qi, best Taiwanese film and best film by a Taiwanese filmmaker.
Taiwanese pop sensation Jay Chou, a singer-songwriter and one of the Chinese-language music industry's biggest names, won for best new performer for "Initial D," signaling the appearance of a new presence on the Asian cinematic scene.
"I'm not very confident about acting, unlike my music," Chou said in his acceptance speech. "But after winning this award, getting this recognition, I'm quite happy."
"Initial D" also earned Anthony Wong best supporting actor honors, while Hong Kong's Aaron Kwok won best actor for "Divergence."
While accepting the award, Kwok made reference to his reputation as a good-looking lightweight, better known for his singing and dancing than for his ability as a serious cinematic performer.
"Beginning with 'Divergence,' I completely put down the Aaron Kwok people expect, to immerse in the character, to be a real actor," he said.
Dolly Parton, Opry members attend theater groundbreaking
Roanoke Rapids, N.C. - Dolly Parton stepped to a microphone Friday to cheers from thousands attending the groundbreaking of a theater her brother is developing in northeastern North Carolina.
"I wouldn't have missed this for anything in the world," Parton said as she stood at the future home of the Randy Parton Theater.
Dolly and Randy Parton, their sister, Stella, and several members of the Grand Ole Opry then launched into a few country and gospel songs.
The theater will be the cornerstone of the planned 750-acre Carolina Crossroads Music and Entertainment District, which seeks to rival Branson, Mo., and Gatlinburg, Tenn., as a hub of country, pop, beach and gospel music.